With COVID-19 cases still elevated statewide, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said Saturday that he will be keeping a close eye on the spread of infections before considering any further measures, which would likely focus on increasing testing and vaccinations.
“We will watch the next week very carefully before we impose more restrictions,” Blangiardi said.
The state Department of Health on Saturday reported one new coronavirus-related death and 791 new confirmed and probable infections statewide, bringing the state’s totals since the start of the pandemic to 548 fatalities and 50,355 cases.
The latest death was an Oahu man in his 60s with underlying health conditions when he was hospitalized with COVID-19, health officials said.
The new cases includes 544 on Oahu, 65 on Maui, 134 on Hawaii island, 15 on Kauai, six on Molokai and 27 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state.
Blangiardi said hospitals and first responders, including paramedics, lifeguards and firefighters, are overworked, understaffed or both because a spike in cases is sidelining staff or overloading them with work.
“Our worst fears came true. What we’re really experiencing is what we thought might happen at the onset of the pandemic,” he said when questioned about possible new restrictions by a reporter during a Chinatown cleanup event.
“Right now we have double the active cases of the highest point that we had previously. Our hospitals are running near capacity or at full capacity. … I’ve been to COVID units, most teams are taxed,” Blangiardi said. “We have finite resources to deal with this. People need to understand that and respect that.”
The COVID-19 death toll includes 422 fatalities on Oahu, 62 on Maui, 59 on Hawaii island, two on Kauai and three Hawaii residents who died outside the state.
Since the start of the outbreak, there have been 35,973 cases on Oahu, 5,932 on Maui, 5,442 on Hawaii island, 793 on Kauai, 117 on Lanai and 119 on Molokai. Additionally, 1,979 Hawaii residents were diagnosed outside of the state.
The DOH also reported 7,630 active cases statewide, an increase of 303 since the previous tally. Oahu had 5,233 active cases; Hawaii island, 1,373; Maui, 744; Kauai, 243; and Molokai, 37.
There were 29 new COVID- 19-related hospitalizations. According to the latest information from the department’s Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard, a total of 283 patients with the virus were in Hawaii hospitals as of Friday, with 50 in intensive care units and 38 on ventilators.